Charity and Sacrifice – Ready for Pre-order!

With the release date of 10/4/16 for Charity and Sacrifice looming near…

I just found out Charity and Sacrifice (published by Uncial Press) is now ready for pre-order!

Kindle

Kobo

And should also be in the IBook store!

So if you’re so inclined – order your copy today! 🙂

Cover Reveal – Charity and Sacrifice

The final cover for Charity and Sacrifice has been approved! So that means I can now share it!

The 10K word novelette, which will be published by Uncial Press, will only be available as an ebook. The cover looks pretty snazzy though!

I love the big, fat X on the husband. Bwahahahaha!

They’ll be sending the novelette out for reviews soon. So I’ll share those as well as they become available. Publish Date is still set for Oct 2016!

I’ve added the blurb and an excerpt again to keep the it fresh in your minds for the future. BWAHAHAHA!

Trapped in a loveless marriage, will Elizabeth’s sacrifice to regain Robert’s love be in vain?

All Elizabeth hoped to do was to rekindle the love in her marriage. Yet despite ignoring her social obligations and immersing herself in her husband’s important work, somehow this only made things worse.

Her last hope is her unborn child — a source of unrequited love to fill the void inside her. But that too is taken from her. How? Why?

Her doctor avoids her. Her husband berates her. And there are whispers — whispers telling of things that cannot be.

Yet the more Elizabeth ignores the rumors, the more they press on her to seek the truth, so she concocts a plan to find it. To find it and hopefully exonerate both Robert and herself. To discover the reason she’s lost all that’s dear to her. And she will do it, even if she must venture into Whitechapel to do it.

Excerpt

“Dear, you have to eat something. Don’t you want to get better?” Ada once more offered a spoonful of porridge.

Propped up with hard pillows, Elizabeth could sit at an angle. Millie, her personal maid, had come by earlier and brought her a proper dressing gown as well as a brush and pins. The proprieties must be maintained despite the tragedy. She knew Robert would expect it. And it was the only armor left to her at present.

Chastised, she opened her mouth to take the offered food, though she wasn’t hungry and felt mortified to be treated like a child. A child…

Elizabeth’s eyes teared up but she refused to be embarrassed further by her own weakness.

“Has he been to see you yet?” The nurse’s eyes gleamed with curiosity.

“To whom do you refer?” She suspected, but she wouldn’t help feed the rumor mill any more than necessary.

“Lord Stainton, your husband.”

Elizabeth refused to meet her gaze. “I’ve been sleeping a lot, but I am sure he’s come. He wouldn’t wake me, knowing I need the rest.”

Ada’s eyes widened with feigned surprise. “Oh, that could be it, couldn’t it?” She fed Elizabeth another spoonful.

“He’s a very busy man.” Elizabeth wanted to bite her own tongue, knowing the excuse for what it was, and well aware the nurse did as well. “I’ve had enough, thank you.”

“Are you sure, dear?” Ada leaned forward as if to feed her again, except she left the spoon in the bowl. She stared intently at Elizabeth, her next words voiced in a whisper. “There are things you should know that you’ve not been told.”

Elizabeth’s eye twitched. The hollow hole inside her pulsed with need and apprehension. She presumed he was receiving news of her condition from the nurses as well as using them to pass on his orders.

Her gently worded requests for him to visit were just as gently denied. The suspicion something was being hidden from her had hardened into solid fact. Yet she still possessed no information.

To be forced to gain it from the likes of Ada … Everything that ever poured from the woman’s mouth was suspect. She’d watched her long enough to learn that much.

But how else was she to even glean a hint as to what was being kept from her? “Is that so?”

Ada leaned forward a little more. “I could get in trouble sharing what I know.” The nurse smiled at her, expectation tightening the lines on her face. “But a token, a valuable token, would go a long way toward easing my concerns. Think of it as a bit of charity to someone less fortunate than yourself.”

Charity? Extortion was more like it. Elizabeth wanted nothing more than to grab her bowl and shove its contents in the old hag’s face. Yet something in the back of her mind niggled at the word. It had been used in her presence recently… “I might have something at home which would satisfy you. I’ll have it brought for the morrow.”

Ada stood up to go. “My old heart bleeds with gratitude, milady. I’ll be sure to tell you all I know, once your charity has been received.”

Elizabeth clutched her blanket until her hands went numb, sure the nurse was laughing at her as she bowed her way out.

Coming Soon!

Charity and Sacrifice – Novelette to see release in Oct 2016

Several months ago I got a contract from Uncial Press for my 10K Novelette “Charity and Sacrifice”

Two rounds of edits later and I can share more info and an excerpt to wet your appetite. 🙂

Trapped in a loveless marriage, will Elizabeth’s sacrifice to regain Robert’s love be in vain?

All Elizabeth hoped to do was to rekindle the love in her marriage. Yet despite ignoring her social obligations and immersing herself in her husband’s important work, somehow this only made things worse.

Her last hope is her unborn child — a source of unrequited love to fill the void inside her. But that too is taken from her. How? Why?

Her doctor avoids her. Her husband berates her. And there are whispers — whispers telling of things that cannot be.

Yet the more Elizabeth ignores the rumors, the more they press on her to seek the truth, so she concocts a plan to find it. To find it and hopefully exonerate both Robert and herself. To discover the reason she’s lost all that’s dear to her. And she will do it, even if she must venture into Whitechapel to do it.

Excerpt

“Dear, you have to eat something. Don’t you want to get better?” Ada once more offered a spoonful of porridge.

Propped up with hard pillows, Elizabeth could sit at an angle. Millie, her personal maid, had come by earlier and brought her a proper dressing gown as well as a brush and pins. The proprieties must be maintained despite the tragedy. She knew Robert would expect it. And it was the only armor left to her at present.

Chastised, she opened her mouth to take the offered food, though she wasn’t hungry and felt mortified to be treated like a child. A child…

Elizabeth’s eyes teared up but she refused to be embarrassed further by her own weakness.

“Has he been to see you yet?” The nurse’s eyes gleamed with curiosity.

“To whom do you refer?” She suspected, but she wouldn’t help feed the rumor mill any more than necessary.

“Lord Stainton, your husband.”

Elizabeth refused to meet her gaze. “I’ve been sleeping a lot, but I am sure he’s come. He wouldn’t wake me, knowing I need the rest.”

Ada’s eyes widened with feigned surprise. “Oh, that could be it, couldn’t it?” She fed Elizabeth another spoonful.

“He’s a very busy man.” Elizabeth wanted to bite her own tongue, knowing the excuse for what it was, and well aware the nurse did as well. “I’ve had enough, thank you.”

“Are you sure, dear?” Ada leaned forward as if to feed her again, except she left the spoon in the bowl. She stared intently at Elizabeth, her next words voiced in a whisper. “There are things you should know that you’ve not been told.”

Elizabeth’s eye twitched. The hollow hole inside her pulsed with need and apprehension. She presumed he was receiving news of her condition from the nurses as well as using them to pass on his orders.

Her gently worded requests for him to visit were just as gently denied. The suspicion something was being hidden from her had hardened into solid fact. Yet she still possessed no information.

To be forced to gain it from the likes of Ada … Everything that ever poured from the woman’s mouth was suspect. She’d watched her long enough to learn that much.

But how else was she to even glean a hint as to what was being kept from her? “Is that so?”

Ada leaned forward a little more. “I could get in trouble sharing what I know.” The nurse smiled at her, expectation tightening the lines on her face. “But a token, a valuable token, would go a long way toward easing my concerns. Think of it as a bit of charity to someone less fortunate than yourself.”

Charity? Extortion was more like it. Elizabeth wanted nothing more than to grab her bowl and shove its contents in the old hag’s face. Yet something in the back of her mind niggled at the word. It had been used in her presence recently… “I might have something at home which would satisfy you. I’ll have it brought for the morrow.”

Ada stood up to go. “My old heart bleeds with gratitude, milady. I’ll be sure to tell you all I know, once your charity has been received.”

Elizabeth clutched her blanket until her hands went numb, sure the nurse was laughing at her as she bowed her way out.

Release date of October 2016! Mark your calendars! 😛

 

Uncial Press

Inner Demons – Sample Chapter 2

Due to Icemaggedon we didn’t get to go to the movies last night. 🙁
So rather than leave you with nothing, here’s chapter 2 of Inner Demons
Urban Fantasy novel that should be available in print and ebook formats in late Jan 2014!

In case you missed it – here’s a link to Chapter 1

Chapter 2

The pimple-faced kid behind the counter ogled me as I came up, trying to keep my balance on the boots’ high heels. You’d think he’d never seen a psychedelically dressed black woman before. The thought made me giggle, which only served to scare me. I was losing it.
“What’s the street address here?”
“Uh, yeah, sure, 9836 Beechnut.”
Then the hard part. “And the city?”
That got me a raised brow. “Houston, of course.”
The wave of relief at hearing I was still in my home city made me weak at the knees. “Do you have a pay phone?”
Instead of answering he pointed back toward the bathrooms. He was no longer ogling, but studying me to determine if I was about to cause some trouble.
“Thanks.” I put as much heartfelt gratitude as I could to try to ease his suspicions, already having had more than my fill of weirdness for one night. “I’ll have a medium Coke, please.”
The ten I put on the counter seemed to alleviate his worries more than my smile had. As long as he gave me some change for the phone, I didn’t care.
I took the empty cup and my money and made the call. The cab showed up less than twenty minutes later.
The Yellow Cab added to my sense of ease, the bright cars a familiar part of the Houston landscape. The driver didn’t bat an eye at my ‘loud’ appearance, for which I was grateful.  I gave him my address, and we got underway.
My eyes stung as we came within sight of my apartment complex. I’d never been so happy to see anything in my life. I paid the driver and then just stood at the security gate staring at the white clubhouse with its dark red Spanish tiled roof. I managed to make it to the clunky keypad without falling on my face and slipped inside the complex.
My steps echoed eerily into the dark as I followed the sidewalk amidst the manicured trees and lawn toward building 4C. My eager steps slowed as I got close. Growing dread bubbled up past my previous elation.
I came to a stop five steps from my apartment door.
My last memories, before finding myself on that dark street alone, were of the apartment. So whatever had happened to me had started here. And there was nothing to say it couldn’t happen again.
My arms and legs broke out in goose bumps.
The red door with its silver 102 below the peephole, the tiled entryway covered by the dark wood underside of the stairs leading to the apartment above – it had always been a welcomed sight. Yet for reasons I couldn’t name, it now seemed alien and menacing. I shifted from one foot to the other, rubbing my arms with my hands while staring at it, feeling cold though the night was warm.
I’d never been one to back down, though – not with the pushers trying to hook us on drugs in middle school, not with the racists that harassed me in high school, or even the few prejudiced college students or teachers at Rice. I hadn’t run from any of that then and I wouldn’t start doing it now. Nothing was going to stop me from going into my own apartment. There might be answers there.
Yet those last few steps ended up being harder to manage than anything I’d done before. Dread and fear mingled inside me, throwing warnings at me, yelling at me not to do this, that I’d be sorry, and I didn’t understand why. My throat clogged up tight.
Concentrating to keep my breathing steady, I took the last step which put me before the door. The spot between my shoulder blades twinged and I glanced behind me, but there was no one there. I reached for the key in the small handbag and felt my fear double as I saw the skull keychain again. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t mine. My hand shook as I inserted the key into the lock and turned it.
The euphoria because it worked lasted less than a moment, for an open door meant I could go inside and it was the last thing I really wanted to do.
I pushed the door open, but didn’t go in. The twinge between my shoulders grew painful. The interior of the apartment was dark. Taking a deep breath and holding it, I reached past the threshold and flicked on the interior hall light.
I exhaled with one long breath of relief as the light showed me nothing but the familiar. The space before me was still the same white, gray, and red tile of the foyer, the plush gray carpet filling the hall. I could even see the edge of my comfy couch just where it should be. Chiding myself for my bizarre apprehension, I took a tentative step inside.
Nothing changed. Everything looked exactly as it should.
I closed the door behind me and locked it.
Never taking my gaze off the hallway before me, I unzipped the uncomfortable boots and took them off. I held onto one of them, twisted around with the spiked heel in front in case I needed an impromptu weapon. Though I knew this was home and everything seemed fine, that heavy sense of dread was still clamped tight to my chest. I inched forward, listening for anything untoward.
My hand went around the corner and switched on the kitchen lights. Brightness flooded the room and bled out into the living room over the open counter.
I spotted a red flowing lava lamp on the coffee table. A shiver ran down my back. I didn’t own a lava lamp. Had someone broken in here while I’d been gone? Steering away from the thought, I quickly moved around the room and switched on every lamp then surveyed the place again. The twinge grew into a yank between my shoulders as I noticed other little changes.
Food stains on my gray couch. Water rings on my polished coffee table. Dust on the picture frames and floor corners.
Dust…
I’d only been gone for a few hours…why would there be dust? I shied away from the question, sure I wouldn’t like the answer and instead moved from room to room turning on more and more lights.
At my bedroom, I swayed at the doorway, my chest so tight I couldn’t breathe. The room was nothing like I’d left it. Gone were the off-white, comforting, textured walls. Instead, it was currently painted in blood red with a crackle black overlay. A metallic black four-poster bed with red satin sheets and comforter had replaced my maple sleigh style bed. A huge flat screen TV took up a chunk of one wall where I’d had several oil landscapes. Video recording equipment sat beneath it, as well as standing lights. New shelving on the walls held more lava lamps of different colors and an assortment of accouterments that only belonged in X-rated or gothic films.
I stepped back, shaking my head in denial. This couldn’t be my apartment. That wasn’t my room.
Turning around, I gazed at my home office. Before I could think about what I was doing, I stepped inside, the familiarity of the room making it that much easier to ignore the other.
The computer was on, a screen saver of running half naked nuns flashing on the screen. I leapt forward and hit the mouse to make it go away. Pop-ups for AIM messages were all over the screen. The login was for someone called ChocolateLover. I scanned a few of them thinking they might hold a clue. I quickly regretted it.
Requests for sex talks. Queries as to when ChocolateLover would be on tonight. Demands she give in to their fantasies. Some even offered money or goods if she’d only meet with them in person.
Grabbing the mouse, I frantically closed all the rest of the boxes, having had enough. Then I moved the cursor down to the corner for the system date. My eyes grew wider and wider until I thought they’d pop out of my head. The computer said it was Friday, July 23rd.
I let go of the mouse as if it’d bit me. No, it was April, April 15th! It couldn’t possibly be July. This was all a joke. A sick twisted joke.
I grabbed the mouse again and double clicked the icon to pull up my browser. I clicked the Favorites folder and then the link to the US Time website. The screen pulled up showing the time, day, and date – July 23rd.
No… No…
My knees quivered. Then I fell down to the carpet, my hands shaking, my brain numb.
This couldn’t be happening. This couldn’t be right!
Someone had to know what was going on. Someone had to be able to help me. Debbie! The thought of my best friend gave me a jolt and I could think straight again. Debbie would have some idea, some clue.
Despite the tiny voice in the back of my head saying that was unlikely, it was still something to cling to. I rose shakily to my feet and stumbled back out to the kitchen. I still hadn’t seen a trace of my iPhone, but I’d kept the landline after setting up DSL so could use that instead.
The phone had changed from a non-descript cordless to a giant set of red lips. Trying not to think about it, I picked up the top.
I punched in Debbie’s number, heart racing, ideas popping up one after the other as to what might have happened and being dismissed just as quickly. Lost Time. I’d heard the term, but couldn’t remember if it related to aliens or mental conditions or what. Aliens, there was an even more remote possibility. This wasn’t the X-Files. Aliens made great TV but didn’t hold up to reality. Split personalities though, schizophrenia, those were real things, documented, studied. But I wasn’t mental. I would have noticed something before this, wouldn’t I?
The phone started ringing on the other end and I forced my thoughts to still. I held my breath as the other end picked up. Tears prickled the corner of my eyes as I heard the familiar voice.
“Hello?” She sounded hesitant, and that’s when I realized I’d never called her from the landline before. My name didn’t show on her cell phone, only the number.
“Debbie, thank God. I’m so glad to hear your voice!”
There was only silence from the other end. It’d been three months, (oh god, three months!) maybe she didn’t recognize my voice? “Debbie?”
“Who is this?” The question was hard, cold. I didn’t understand it.
“It’s Tamara. Listen, something weird is going—”
The phone went dead. She’d hung up on me… I pulled the phone from my ear and stared at it, dread chomping at me from the inside.
I redialed. The phone rang three times then went to voicemail. I didn’t leave a message, just disconnected and tried again. Why wouldn’t she pick up? My sense of dread jumped up a couple of more notches. By the third time I was desperate. “Debbie, please! I don’t understand. I need your help! Something weird is going on. My apartment, my clothes, the time. Look, I, I don’t get any of this, but if I, if I somehow did something to offend you… I can come over if you don’t want to talk on the phone. You’re my best friend, and I reallyneed your help.”
I hung up and stared at the phone, willing her to call me back. But as the minutes ticked away, the certainty that she wouldn’t grew inside me. Yet why would I think that?
The lip phone shrilled out, making me jump though I’d hoped for a call.
Caller ID on the answering machine flashed Debbie’s number. I felt a shot of hope. It didn’t last long.
“If? You say if you did something to offend me?” Her breathing was fast and heavy. “And don’t you dare get within a hundred feet of my house! If I see you, I’ll shoot you dead!”
She was mad, more than mad, furious. I’d known Debbie since we hooked up as lab partners in college. As all friends do, we’d had some fights on occasion but never had she sounded so full of anger. “Debbie, I…I don’t understand. What happened?”
There was a harsh laugh on the other end of the line. It was full of bitterness, and thorns, and wasn’t anything I’d ever heard from her before. “Okay, I’ll play.” Another bark of a laugh. “Richie. You remember Richie, my fiancé, don’t you, bitch?”
It wasn’t anger. It was hate, pure unadulterated hate and it was aimed at me. I almost dropped the phone at the realization. How long had this been building inside her? How long had she been waiting for an opportunity to vent her rage? “Y-yes?”
“And June first, June first rings a bell, doesn’t it?”
Oh no, I’d missed the wedding. Debbie had talked of nothing for months except of being a June bride. I was supposed to be her maid of honor. Was that where all of this was coming from? Deep from inside me a whisper said ‘no’. I was cold all over. “Yes.”
“And I bet you remember the night you went to see him, too. The one where you got him drunk. And gave him pills. Where you had sex with him?” Again the bitter laugh rang in my ears. Numbness crawled up my arm and spread all over me. I’d done what?
“And how you then brought him to my house at three in the morning and left him on my doorstep naked and bombed out of his mind for me to find? Is any of that ringing any bells for you?”
No, it wasn’t. But what was worse was the fact I didn’t doubt her in the least. As if I already knew it was true. Which made no sense at all. I would have never done something like this to her, never. Yet seemingly I had. Disgust and horror swelled up my throat. “Debbie, I…”
“Just die, bitch, and never, ever call me again!”

 

The line went dead, but I barely noticed. I slid to the floor, the phone falling from my hand.
 
 
 
Stay warm everyone! 

Inner Demons – Chapter 1

Hi, all!

Trying to start promoting this sucker as it will be released before I know it. lol. Working on getting the three sample chapters and other info at the website. Figured I’d go ahead an give you a taste though. 🙂

Inner Demons (Urban Fantasy)

 

Chapter One
“Getting a little excited, are we?” I couldn’t keep the grin out of my voice as I kicked off my shoes and dug my toes into the carpet and stretched. Getting home in the evenings was one of the best perks of the day. Switching the phone to my other hand, I picked up the low heeled pumps and stepped into the bedroom.
“Yes. No? Mostly I’m totally stressing out! Richie is useless at this stuff. He’s got no idea that Peach, Taffeta Peach, and Candy Peach aren’t in any way the same color.” Debbie sighed from the other end of the line. “Honestly, he could try a little harder. We’ll only get married once.”
I didn’t have any idea what the differences of those colors were either, but figured it wasn’t the time to say so. I tucked the shoes away in the closet and grabbed a pair of gray sweat pants and old Beatles t-shirt, feeling the day slide off my shoulders as I changed. “You’ve known he’s been color impaired for years, love won’t change that. Or have you forgotten his color choices for the college mixer two years ago?” Drifting to the kitchen, I pulled down my favorite cup, chipped handle and all, and filled it with water and stuck it in the microwave to heat.
A stifled giggle came from the other end of the line. “What a disaster! That won’t ever be happening again on my watch.”
“I should hope not.” Grinning, I brought out my tea colander and opened the cabinet to pick the flavor of the evening. Blueberry Cheesecake Tea seemed just the thing.
“We’re still on for this weekend, right?” A slight note of insecurity bled through.
I worked hard not to smile. Though I normally wasn’t much into fashion or agonizing over what cake flavoring would please most people, I’d do almost anything for Debbie. “Of course. Looking forward to it.”
“I love you, Tam.”
“I love you, too. But don’t tell Richie, he’ll get jealous.”
Debbie laughed. “It’s a secret. Pick you up at nine.”
I hung up just as the microwave dinged. Pulling out the mug, I put it on a tray with everything else needed, and went to the living room, looking forward to stretching out on my gray couch and sipping my tea.
I’d just set the tray down when I noticed an odd smell…like rotten eggs. I half turned, then…
A pair of headlights was coming right for me.
I froze, my breath catching at my throat, my brain refusing to accept the impossible change.
The car swerved at the last moment, and time slowed around me as a flush of adrenaline hit my system. The blare of a pressed horn crashed into my ears. The dark blue Oldsmobile missed me by mere inches, the glow of streetlights reflecting from its sides. Humid wind whipped over me, trying to drag me along in the car’s wake. The stench from the exhaust coiled about me, and I spun around to watch the trailing red tail lights.
“Lunatic!” An arm shot out the window, the middle finger held up as extra commentary on the near miss.
The car never even slowed.
This was real.
Other pairs of headlights bore down my way. Fear spiked through me, yelling at me to get the hell out of there. I tripped when I took my first panicked step, the shoes on my feet feeling strange and awkward. I glanced down and saw I was wearing white boots with six inch heels. Worse, I was also wearing a dark sequined dress that only covered a small part of my upper thighs.
I wasn’t a prude, but I had taste, dammit, and this get up just wasn’t me. I stumbled toward the sidewalk to my right, only too aware of the traffic heading toward me.
I almost collapsed once I made it, the high heels messing with my center of gravity. A Shell gas station and a combination KFC/Taco Bell sat in front of me. The location didn’t look familiar, though at the moment, nothing did. How did I get here?
Panic nibbled at the back of my mind, confusion clouding everything.
I slowly turned where I stood and spotted a freeway with an overpass on my right. Across the blacktop street were a bank and several grassy lots set back from the curb. The street sign said Beechnut Street. That rang a bell – could I still be in Houston? Just thinking it gave me hope. At the moment, though, it wouldn’t have surprised me to find out I was on another planet entirely.
Chilled, I rubbed my arms, even as a bead of sweat ran down my neck. A small purse on a long chain loop smacked against my thigh. I brought it close, never having seen it before, and opened it. Wads of loose cash lay inside, as well as a tube of lipstick and a set of keys hanging off a skull keychain. There was no driver’s license or other type of ID. No cell phone, either. I couldn’t tell if the purse was even actually mine. Yet the shape of one of the keys looked familiar. I was pretty sure it belonged to my apartment. I had cash, I had what I hoped was my key, and I thought I was in my city. It meant I could get back home to things I knew.
Home—yes, getting home sounded very good right now.
Taking a deep breath, I felt slightly more in control. Yes, home, get myself home. That was a plan, something to aim for. I half walked, half waddled toward the KFC/Taco Bell, hoping to find a pay phone or beg to borrow someone’s cell. I’d never worn such tall heels and they tried to sink into the grass as I cut across the strip to the parking lot. As I neared the bank of glass windows advertising value meals and combo platters, I spotted my reflection and came to a complete stop.
The image that mirrored my movements was and wasn’t me. I had screaming platinum blonde hair. Straight and startling in its color, it dropped down to my shoulders. It couldn’t be real. No matter how many straighteners I used on my hair, it’d never been that cooperative. A shaking hand with platinum, luminescent nail polish rose up to touch the hair. After a quick inspection, I realized it was a wig. My own hair lay underneath it. I assumed the same could be said for the rest of me as well. Though I wasn’t considered that dark-skinned, especially when compared to the rest of my family, out here, my face and eyes seemed to suck out the light, especially with my face being framed by the platinum wig, my eyes shaded with glittering eye shadow and lips with matching lipstick. The black and way too short sequined dress showed stripes of startling white and matched the tall-heeled white boots that rose up to my knees. I wasn’t sure if I looked more like a hooker out of a cheap 60’s cop show, an extra out of an old Soul Train rerun, or some exotic alien in a B-movie showing on the Syfy Channel. Either way, it wasn’t me.
I swayed where I stood, the surreal feeling of it all making me dizzy. I leaned against the glass door, no longer trusting my legs. How did I come to be dressed like this or be at this place? I liked to have fun as much as anyone, but I wasn’t a raving party girl. Some might even call me boring, since my idea of a good time normally consisted of staying at home dressed in my sweats, curled up on the couch with a good book. So why?
Darkness prickled at the edges of my vision, so I scrunched down and placed my head between my knees while trying to force my breathing to slow, sure I was close to hyperventilating. The accountant in me whispered that all numbers added up, even if you didn’t have every bit of data. All you had to do was find them. What came in always had to balance what came out, even though it might not look like it. I just needed to hold it together long enough to find all the pieces – then everything would make sense. Everything.
But to do that, I needed to keep it together—I needed to stick to my plan of getting home. My breathing slowed, and that in turn brought down the hammering in my heart.
Feeling slightly calmer, I gingerly stood up.
The night air pressed in around me, hot and sticky with humidity, not the usual norm for April. But with Texas, you just never knew. The odd thought, however, helped ground me.

 

I reached out for the handle on the glass door and then went inside to try to borrow a phone and get to things I knew. 
 
COMING SOON in 2014

NEWS! “In the Service of Samurai” is now available as an IMABIK Audio Book!

 

Woot! Looks like they forgot to tell me. It’s been out since 5/22!

 

Yes! My fantasy novel “In The Service of Samurai” is now available as an audio book from IAMBIK through Audible.
Totally love the reader’s voice – her name is Availle. She has the coolest accent! But I mostly love her emotion filled reading. Yay!

 

Marketing Experiment # XXX – 140 Character Quotes

Several months ago I got an idea for an online marketing experiment from something Rachel Caine (marvy urban fantasy and YA author) was doing using Twitter.

For her bit, she was linking a partial quote from the about to be released Morganville Vampires Book 7 called Fade Out and including a link to her LJ so readers could see the rest of the selected quote. (MV7 totally rocked, by the way!)

I decided I would try something similar, but with a Twitter twist. I would actually try to make the quotes fit into Twitter’s 140 character limit as well as include a purchase url for Amazon or just the name of the book the quote came from depending on space. (Sometimes nothing as a couple of the buggers were too long!)

For each book, I went and hunted for 20 plus quotes from the beginning chapters. The plan was to Tweet quotes 3 times a day. Reason for doing it 3 times was because people aren’t always on Twitter/Facebook at the same time the quote would be posted. The two different Twitter Utilities I use seem to only buffer about 100 Tweets, so assuming most others were about the same, I wanted to send enough of them out there to hopefully get included, but not so many I would seem to be spamming the netwaves.

I use two different utilities to check Tweets. At work I use TechHit’s TwInbox. (TwInbox basically lets you create a folder for Tweets in Outlook and feeds Twitter into it. It also means I don’t have to have any suspicious software on at work or an internet page up. :P) (I love that I can forward Tweets with interesting links via email automatically too to peeps I know who don’t use Twitter. Somethings just have to be shared!) At home, I use TweetDeck. Tweetdeck lets me see feeds from Twitter, My Space, and Facebook, plus I can upload comments to all 3 at once.

So, armed with a week’s worth of quotes for each of my four books – In the Service of Samurai, Vassal of El, Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles, and Willing Sacrifice – I set off on this mad marketing experiment!

Today is the last day of the fourth week. Since I included urls leading anyone who was interested to Amazon, I figured using my ranking #’s there for each book would let me know if anything happened at all.

I’m afraid to have to report that the impact of this experiment very well seems to be Zero~! But at least now I know. Of course there’s always the possibility that the full impact, if any, is not yet visible. It’s the biggest problem with trying any type of marketing for books as there are time when the effects are felt long after you’ve stopped pursuing that particular strategy.

In some ways too, I was probably preaching to the choir – most of those following me have probably already read some of my work. To get others on Twitter to see it I needed to use hashmarks like #ya #fantasy, but I don’t think I thought of using those until well into week two at least. Doh. (hindsight is 20/20)

Now to think of something else to try!

In the Service of Samurai Book Video!

Well, after way too many months of avoidance and procrastination, I was finally able to carve out a chunk of time to get all the pieces together and finish the first of my much needed four book videos!

In the Service of Samurai by Gloria Oliver - Young Adult Fantasy novel
Woot!!!! The Book Video for In the Service of Samurai is COMPLETE!

If you care to take a peek, you can find the bugger here.

It’s not going to win any Academy Awards, but hopefully it will get the point across. Heh heh.

Now to get my eyes to quit twitching from strain. Whee!

Heh heh. See ya!

Gloria

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles NOW AVAILABLE in Print!

HI, all!

 

 

 

Just wanted to annouce real quick that “Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles” is now available in Trade Paperback!

 

 

Cross-eyed Dragon Troubles by Gloria Oliver - Young Adult Fantasy novel

 

Can be purchased at Amazon or for a bigger discount directly from the Publiser at Hard Shell Word Factory

 

“Harry Potter meets the Dragon Riders of Pern”

 

Talia didn’t want to be apprenticed, not even to the prestigious Dragon Knight’s Guild. She is taken to the school by a cross-eyed dragon and his partner, Kel. A dizzying, madcap ride that leaves her less than eager to be a knight, but soon she finds out the guild has need of many types of people. Running into the dragon and squire again and again, she comes to realize the unlikely pair are outsiders in their own school—participants of the dragon-human pairing ritual, which in the end didn’t work quite as intended. They are stubborn loners who are determined to overcome the obstacles in their path and make a true pair, as was intended. Or are they?

 

As Talia’s first year at the guild evolves, she must deal with the quirks of the Administrator, her lessons, the odd rules of the school, the students, the mystery of Clarence and Kel, and somewhere in there, possibly decide what it is she wants for her own future.

 

Sample Chapters

 

 

 

 

Willing Sacrifice – YA Fantasy – Now Available!

Well, after a long wait and battling the Curse of the Cover – Willing Sacrifice is finally out!!!

Willing Sacrifice by Gloria Oliver - Young Adult Fantasy novel

Willing Sacrifice

To save the world she must die! Or does she?

For as long as she can remember, La’tiera has known her purpose, her destiny. As the Bearer of the Eye, she will wait until the appointed time then sacrifice herself to the demons so the lands will be safe.

Yet as the time approaches, she is snatched from her home by strangers and is told it is for her protection. These strangers tell her she is not to be a sacrifice, but must fight to live in order for the world to be saved.

La’tiera will not be swayed, however, her duty clear. Despite their clever lies, she will follow through on her destiny and do what is required. Her every effort will be put to freeing herself from her kidnappers and meeting her fate as planned.

 

 

Teaser

 

La’tiera was left alone with the two men who’d kidnapped her. She rose to her feet, feeling tense, and stood near the wall. So she was quite startled when Rostocha dropped to one knee before her and bowed. Dal followed suit.

“Bearer, please allow me introduce myself. I am Rostocha of the fifth tier of Watchers, son of Lalu and Nathan.” He lifted his head, his eyes seeking her surprised ones. “I earnestly apologize for our methods, but they were necessary. We needed to make sure we could take you safely from your prison and could privately explain ourselves to you.”

He appeared earnest, but La’tiera didn’t believe him. “I don’t care to hear your explanations. I only want you to take me back where I belong.” She tried to make her expression hard, though in truth she quivered inside.

Rostocha looked away. “I’m sorry, but that is not possible. Our world is in peril and you are the key to our salvation. It is our duty to educate you, to keep you safe, until the time comes. Then after the danger is past, if you still wish to return, we will do as you ask.”

“What lies!” La’tiera felt a flash of anger bring heat to her face. “If you honestly wanted the world to be saved, you wouldn’t be making these promises to me.”

“La’tiera, what are you talking about?” Dal asked her.

She pierced him with a hard stare. “I could hardly choose to go back home once I was dead, could I?”

This brought Dal to his feet. “Dead? Why would you be dead?”

“Because it is required!”

Rostocha followed suit, a look of comprehension dawning on his face. “You believe you have to be a sacrifice.”

Dal spun to stare first at him then at her. “What? That’s insane!”

His utter shock at the fact confused her.

“You were expecting to die? You were going to allow yourself to be killed?”

She possessed no idea what to make of the horrified expression on his face. “Of course. I will do what is necessary, what I was chosen to do.”

“The Eye is not a mark of Death!”

 

ISBN : 978-1-934135-27-3

Sample Chapters

Available at Amazon.com – Trade Paperback

and Fictionwise.com – e-book format